Five star Young leads South Australia to Metro win

A FIVE-goal performance to top young star Lauren Young saw South Australia run out comfortable winners against Vic Metro in the AFLW Under 18 Championships. The Croweaters slammed on six goals to one in the first half – four coming off the boot of Young – and while Metro was able to do a bit more damage on the scoreboard in the second half, still went down, 13.8 (86) to 4.4 (28).

Young was the star of the show, cycling through multiple opponents and still kicking five goals from 17 disposals and nine marks. When she was not kicking them, she was handing them off and setting up teammates such as talented forward/midfielder India Rasheed who kicked two from 26 disposals.

Vic Metro kicked with the breeze in the first term, but it did not take long for the class to rise to the fore, with reigning MVP winner Shineah Goody winning the ball from the opening clearance and lead to Young kicking the first goal just 93 seconds into the match. She would add another in the term, with a third shot touched on the line.

While Young was the one benefiting on the scoreboard, it was the work of Rasheed (two clearances from seven disposals) and Goody (six disposals) that was doin a lot of the damage through midfield. Western Jets midfielder Kiera Whiley had won two of her side’s four first quarter clearances, while the class and polish of Alyssia Pisano resulted in her kicking the first after a mark and set shot.

She looked the most dangerous inside 50 for the home side, while Hayley McLaughlin and Laura Stone along with Whiley were the most prolific further afield. Still, Vic Metro trailed by six points at the first break.

South Australia had the breeze in the second term, and capitalised on it, booting four goals to nil and extending the lead out to 31 points. Young kicked two more, and Metro moved first Stone, and then the taller Emily Gough onto Young, while her first opponent, Ellie Sbeghen shifted to Lucy Boyd.

The Croweaters dominated forward half time for the term, but Metro had five more touches heading into the main break. It was largely handballs though, as the pressure from the South Australian forwards forced Metro to rush.

Sandringham Dragons bottom-ager Sophie McKay was a standout in the term, while Eastern Ranges defender Ava Campbell provided great run out of defence. it was not tough though, as even the move to quell Young saw Central District duo Jasmine Evans and Sophie Eaton convert running goals over the top of Young using the space behind her.

Coming out of the main break, Vic Metro came out with vigour as Pisano roved a great goal off the opening inside 50 to snap a terrific goal. Though the home team had some early forward half possession, the work of Alissa Brook, Jemma Charity and Charlotte Riggs provided plenty of crucial intercepts.

When South Australia took over, the ball lived up the Croweaters end. Rasheed snapped a great goal in the goalsquare to respond to the Pisano major, and Metro dropped numbers behind the ball. Looking to desperately try and look for exit options out of defence, the Vics could not get past the South Australian defence which had been able to push up the ground and form a wall.

A rare mistake from Young going out on the full, and a snap from Rasheed touched on the line were sighs of relief for the home crowd, but a clever snap from Eaton to find Violet Patterson all alone. The Glenelg bottom-ager made no mistake, and then Young set up West Adelaide teammate Ruby Ballard after a strong on the mark on the goalline.

By the final break, the margin was out to 45 points after South Australia kicked another three goals to one to extend it further. The big difference in styles was evident, with Vic Metro kicking just 47.6 per cent of the time in the first three quarters, while South Australia went at 64.4 per cent by foot.

Stone was up to 20 disposals, while Gough was up to 19 disposals and five rebound 50s by the last change. For the Croweaters, Rasheed lead all-comers with 22 touches, while skipper Piper Window and South Adelaide midfielder Brooke Boileau were also busy.

Any doubt on whether the South Australians would run out the game was quickly put to bed and Window converted a great snap goal under pressure. Up the other end, bottom-ager Kyla Forbes responded in turn with a major of her own. Unfortunately it was not going to be enough as Young ran on from the interchange unguarded and took the easiest mark and ran into an open goal for her fifth.

Vic Metro would keep fighting to the final line, but a clever snap from Melissa Anderson would put the icing on the South Australian cake and they enjoyed a 58-point win. Young was the star, while Rasheed, Window and Goody all had their moments, and Elaine Grigg and Molly Brooksby also caught the eye.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA 2.2 | 6.4 | 9.6 | 13.8 (86)
VIC METRO 1.2 | 1.3 | 2.3 | 4.4 (28)

South Australia: L. Young 5, I. Rasheed 2, P. Window, J. Evans, V. Patterson, M. Anderson, S. Eaton, R. Ballard
Vic Metro: A. Pisano 2, K. Forbes, G. Brisbane

Vic Metro:
L. Stone, S. McKay. I. Bacon, E. Gough, A. Campbell
South Australia: L. Young, I. Rasheed, S. Goody, M. Brooksby, H. Ifould

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